Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths is in full swing and if you want a swinging superhero saga, this is the issue for you. It’s the most fun I’ve had with a DC book in ages.
‘High-Speed Alert’ kicks off with Titans Donna Troy and Cyborg handing out assignments as the latest reality-threatening event sends the planet into a panic.
‘They’ are the Flash Family, more a super-speed clan than ever with Linda now able to run fast like husband Wally and daughter Irey. The plan is that the Flash, Irey, super-strong twin Jai aka Surge, Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick, Max Mercury, Kid Flash Wallace West, Jesse Quick and, er, Mrs Flash put out as many villainous fires as possible, and help the other heroes in between.
Cue an action-packed episode as Deathstroke’s forces are roundly routed by the good guys.
As excellent as the baddies bashing is, what makes this issue really special is the interaction between the heroes. With Linda, Irey and Jai meeting most of them for the first time, and the Justice Society of America recently returned from their latest trip to comics limbo, there’s lots of talk about.
The vibe is Bronze Age JLA/JSA team-up, the great bits at the beginning before a Crisis was announced, when entertaining smalltalk was the order of the day. And goodness me, but writer Jeremy Adams does great chitchat. He also throws in a little learning, which proves a dangerous thing for a squadron of Nazi zombies as Power Girl teaches Jai a trick of her trade.
I don’t know the in-story reason for tailor to the stars Mr Terrific to model Linda’s new outfit look on Jay’s classic fighting togs…
…maybe, like me, he hates the new look he’s sported recently. Happily, fussy boots apart, he’s back in the old duds this issue, thanks to artist Amancay Nahuelpan, and looking rather nifty. Now, if only someone would take Wally’s weird mask-nose away!
Star of the series Wally also gets great play, his experience showing in his wrangling of Kid Flash and the Flash Kids, and a trick up his sleeve which makes perfect sense. Linda is surprisingly – but not unbelievably – adept in the use of her new powers, while her Mom skills are even more impressive.
Also making a great impression is Donna Troy, presented as a competent Titan for the first time in years, while Roy Harper, Arsenal, looks set to be Jai’s favourite uncle. And I’m delighted to see the Jesse Quick/Hourman marriage has survived recent continuity speed bumps.
I’m surprised to see mention of ‘The Fraction’, which I’d taken to be a throwaway element of the recent trip to alternate worlds. Intriguing.
Nahuelpan’s illustrations have all the dynamism a Flash book requires, replete with fleet feet and speed lines a-go-go. Highlights include the joy on Linda’s face as she joins Wally and the kids on the field for the first time, and Professor Peege.
And, with one of this issue’s excellent colourists – Jeromy Cox or Peter Pantazis – Nahuelpan gifts us an eye-popping scene featuring one of DC’s creepiest kids. Letterer Justin Birch crafts some eye-catching sound effects and Taurin Clarke provides a lovely family portrait cover.
And if you still need good reason to buy this issue, it contains the best Animal Man gag ever!
Flash #786 is the best Dark Crisis issue yet, just pure comics fun.